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Tertiary Minerals expects quick evaluation of Norwegian fluorspar project due to extensive dataset

Tertiary Minerals expects quick evaluation of Norwegian fluorspar project due to extensive dataset

Tertiary Minerals PLC (LON:TYM) announced encouraging results from sampling of archived drill core from the Lassedalen fluorspar project in south-west Norway and said previous evaluation of Lassedalen had progressed further than initially thought.

Resampling assay results include a 8.75 metre intersection grading 59.5 percent fluorspar from 125 metres depth in hole BH4 and 10.4 metres grading 44.1 percent fluorspar from 196 metres in BH8.

The examined core is from holes drilled in the 1970s by Norwegian company Norsk Hydro A/S.

Norsk Hydro has also provided an extensive archive of data which reveals that evaluation of the project progressed further at that time than public records suggested.  Norsk Hydro's activity included pilot scale testwork demonstrating the feasibility of production of acid grade fluorspar and included design of a mine, process plant and infrastructure.

A significant programme of metallurgical development culminated in pilot plant testing during which acid-grade fluorspar was produced. Test reports projected that 80 percent or more fluorspar recovery should be achievable in commercial practice. This represents a good commercial fluorspar today, Tertiary Minerals said.

Norsk Hydro also carried out mine, process plant and infrastructure design but the project was not developed at that time when market conditions for fluorspar were less favourable.

Tertiary Minerals expects the availability of archive data to result in significant cost and time savings for the company as it progresses the project towards a preliminary economic evaluation.

It has commissioned SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd to evaluate all of the historical exploration data and recent resampling data with a view to making recommendations for minerals resource estimation for the project.

Chairman Patrick Cheetham said: "These are highly encouraging results - it has been an important step to confirm historical assay results and the archive data will certainly help us to fast-track further evaluation of the Lassedalen fluorspar project at a time when fluorspar spot prices are rising strongly."

Lassedalen is located 80 kilometres south-west of Oslo and 5 kilometres south-west of the historic silver mining town of Kongsberg in southern Norway.The deposit is less than 1 kilometre from highway E134 and approximately 40 kilometres from the nearest Norwegian port.  

The project is well placed for European export markets as well as an important established market within southern Norway where fluorspar is used to manufacture aluminium fluoride for use in the large hydro-powered aluminium smelting and refining industry.

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